The Real Life Home School Mom has 13 chapters and over 175 full-size 8-1/2" x 11" pages. It has a clear plastic cover over a cardstock cover, which means it's jelly proof! It is also spiral-bound, so it will lie flat for you when your hands are busy doing other Real Life Mommy things. Most of all, written by a veteran home school mom of ten (ages preschool to adult) it is packed with encouragement and practical tips to help you thrive and not just survive in the home school lifestyle! You can read the introduction and chapter summaries below. You can also read:
Start Well blog posts excerpted from The Real Life Home School Mom and Come Weary Moms blog posts excerpted from The Real Life Home School Mom.
You can also read a review of this book here: Review of The Real Life Home School Mom on Eclectic Homeschool Online
The Ideal Home School Mom. What image do those words convey? If you are like me, your mind conjures up a composite portrait of all your aspirations. That Ideal Home School Mom juggles it all in perfect balance. Her house is always ready for unexpected company. The children can always find clean socks. They never burp or pinch each other or interrupt when she is on the phone. She never raises her voice. She effortlessly jumps from teaching algebra to teaching ABCs. She has a gourmet meal (with homemade whole wheat bread and garden fresh vegetables) ready at 6 o'clock sharp. She is the home school version of the Proverbs 31 woman, and unfortunately you know you'll never be just like her. You try and try, but as a Real Life Home School Mom, you fall short of the glory ofher, your picture of perfection. I'm all for high ideals. I have visions for my family that will not let go of me. Yet in my own life, I see deep needs for renewal and encouragement that will not be met by a new and better curriculum. What I need is a new and better me! I know I am not alone in this.
Who am I to write a book on home schooling? Certainly not Super Mom! I won't claim to be an expert on education or psychology. I have a Management degree and my work experience is in computer programming. My qualification is simply that I am a Real Life Home School Mom, just like you. Thad and I have ten children (seven daughters and three sons) ages two to young adult. They all have vastly different personalities, talents, and learning styles, so we have had to adjust our home school methods over the past several years.
Beyond teaching my own children, my heart is committed to encouraging other home school moms. Many years ago, I compiled a set of notes called "The Little Book of Home Schooling" to hand out to new home school families and use at a "Get Started in Home Schooling" workshop. Since The Real Life Home School Mom first came out in 2000, I also published another book, Common Sense Excellence: Faith-Filled Home Education for Preschool to 5th Grade which is a comprehensive
subject-by-subject teaching guide. In addition, since 1998, I have published the Hope Chest Home School News, a free e-mail magazine reaching over 1200 families around the world. I notice that whenever I talk to home school moms, I hear the same thing: voices that are hopeful yet hesitant, full of both wonder and worry. My heart is with them. I know just how they feel!
This new edition in 2007 is a major rewrite reflecting what I have learned in the past seven years, which has included raising teenagers, transitioning into new approaches to home schooling, and experiencing a “midlife reckoning” and corresponding spiritual renewal. I trust that you are learning and growing each year also, which is why this new edition of The Real Life Home School Mom is subtitled A Life in Revision.
Over the past decade or so, I have written these pages with an eagerness to minister to others who feel like I do. If I can encourage just one mom to hang in there through tough times, I will be satisfied. If you aren't the perfect home school mom, this is for you!